Vermeers Hat

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Native American cultures did not yet know how to work metal, but quickly learned to use firearms and acquired them through trade. Champlain tried to block guns from leaking into Native culture, real­ izing that it would undercut his military advantage. He was able to win his battle on Lake Champlain in 1609 because guns had not yet fallen into the hands of the Mohawks. Other European traders were not so careful. The English traded guns for fur pelts, but only with their allies. The Dutch trading out of New Amsterdam (now New York) were less discriminating. They sold arquebuses to anyone. Na­ tive traders soon learned the value of guns and made access to them the price of trade. As a result, guns poured into the interior and were soon being traded well beyond the reach of the Europeans. The Dutch eventually realized that the arquebuses they were selling to their allies were ending up in the hands of their enemies, so they declared that any European trading guns to the Natives would be executed. Unfor­ tunately for them, that order was too late by at least a decade. Champlain's arquebus played one more role in his campaign. It happened the day after the battle was over. One price of defeat was human sacrifice. The sacrifice could not be performed at the site of the battle. The Algonkians and Hurons were deep in Mohawk ter­ ritory and feared the quick return of their enemies, and in greater numbers. The surprise of the first victory could not be repeated; they had to leave. But they would not give up the Mohawk warriors they had captured. Young males were too valuable to waste. Some would be taken home and, if possible, integrated into the tribes of those who had captured them. But one, at least, would be sacrificed. They hobbled the captives by cutting the sinews in their legs, bound their
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